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**LCMs and GCFs MSJC ~ San Jacinto Campus Math Center Workshop Series**

Janice Levasseur

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Least Common Multiples (LCMs) and Greatest Common Factors (GCFs) play a big role in mathematics involving fractions When adding fractions, it is necessary to find a common denominator. We use the LCM as the smallest denominator. To reduce fraction, we need to find the GCF.

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**Least Common Multiples**

The multiples of a number are the products of that number and the Natural numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, ) The number that is a multiple of two or more numbers is a common multiple of those numbers. The Least Common Multiple (LCM) is the smallest common multiple of two or more numbers.

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**Example: The multiples of 4 are**

4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32, 36, 40, 44, 48, . . . The multiples of 6 are 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 42, 48, 54, 60, 66, . . . The common multiples of 4 and 6 are 12, 24, 36, 48, . . . The LeastCommonMultiples of 4 and 6 is 12 Notation: LCM(4, 6) = 12

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Finding the LCM We can find the LCM of two or more numbers by listing out the multiples of each and identifying the smallest common multiple But, this could be difficult . . . Ex: Find LCM(24, 50) Do you know your multiples of 24 and 50 easily?

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**We need a more systematic approach to finding LCMs**

We will find the LCM or two or more numbers using the prime factorization of each number Review: the prime factorization of a number is that number written solely as a product of prime numbers.

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**Ex: Find the prime factorization of 24**

Primes Quotient (composites) 24 24 = 2 * 12 2 12 24 = 2 * 2 * 6 2 6 24 = 2 * 2 * 2 * 3 2 3 Prime on the right done clean it up 24 = 23 * 3

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**Ex: Find the prime factorization of 50**

Primes Quotient (composites) 50 50 = 2 * 25 2 25 50 = 2 * 5 * 5 5 5 Prime on the right done just clean it up 50 = 2 * 52

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**Ex: Find the LCM(24, 50) Find the prime factorization of each number:**

24 = 23 * 3 and 50 = 2 * 52 Arrange the factorizations in a table primes 3 5 2 # 24 23 31 50 50 21 30 52 LCM 3 25 8 Circle the Largest product in each column The LCM(24, 50) is the product of the circled numbers: 8 * 3 * 25 = 600

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Note: The exponent represents the number of times that factor appears in the prime factorization In the prime factorization of the LCM of two numbers we can find the prime factorization of each of the numbers: 24 = 2*2*2*3 and 50 = 2*5*5 LCM(24, 50) = 600 = 2*2*2*3*5*5 = (2*2*2*3)*5*5 = (2*5*5)*2*2*3 600 is a multiple of both 24 and 50!

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**Ex: Find the LCM(44, 60) Prime Factorizations**

2 22 2 30 2 11 2 15 3 5 44 = 2 * 2 * 11 60 = 2 * 2 * 3 * 5

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Ex: Find the LCM(44, 60) M: Find the prime factorization of each number: 44 = 2*2*11 and 60 = 2*2*3*5 C: Find the common factors: 2 * 2 L: Include all the “leftovers”: 3 * 5 * 11 The LCM(44, 60) = 2 * 2 * 3 * 5 * 11 = 660

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**Ex: Find the LCM(102, 184) Prime Factorizations**

51 2 92 3 17 2 46 2 23 102 = 2 * 3 * 17 184 = 2 * 2 * 2 * 23

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Ex: Find the LCM(102, 184) M: Find the prime factorization of each number: 102 = 2*3*17 and 184 = 2*2*2*23 C: Find the common factors: 2 L: Include all the “leftovers”: 2 * 2 * 3 * 17 * 23 The LCM(44, 60) = 2 * 2 * 2 * 3 * 17 * 23 = 9384

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**Ex: Find the LCM(16, 30, 84) Prime Factorizations**

2 8 2 15 2 42 2 4 2 21 3 5 2 2 3 7 16 = 2*2*2*2 30 = 2 * 3 * 5 84 = 2 * 2 * 3 * 7

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Ex: Find the LCM(16, 30, 84) M: Find the prime factorization of each number: 16 = 2*2*2*2 30 = 2*3*5 and 84 = 2*2*3*7 C: Find the common factors: 2 Continue to find factors that are common to some: 2 * 3 L: Include all the “leftovers”: 2 * 2 * 5 * 7 The LCM(16, 30, 84) = 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 3 * 5 * 7 = 1680

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Try a few problems on the handout

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**Greatest Common Factors**

The factors of a number are the numbers that divide the original number evenly A number that is a factor of two or more numbers is a common factor of those numbers The Greatest Common Factor (GCF) is the largest common factor of two or more numbers

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**Example: The factors of 24 are 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 24**

1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, 36 The common factors of 24 and 36 are 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 12 The GreatestCommonFactor of 24 and 36 is 12 Notation: GCF(24, 36) = 12

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Finding the GCF We can find the GCF of two or more numbers by listing out the factors of each and identifying the largest common factor But, this could be difficult when the numbers are very large.

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**We need a more systematic approach to finding GCFs**

We will find the GCF or two or more numbers using the prime factorization of each number and using a process nearly identical to the one we used to find LCMs of two or more numbers

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**Ex: Find the GCF(24, 40) Prime Factorizations**

12 2 20 2 6 2 10 2 3 2 5 24 = 2 * 2 * 2 * 3 40 = 2 * 2 * 2 * 5

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**Ex: Find the GCF(24, 40) Find the prime factorization of each number:**

24 = 2 * 2 * 2 * 3 and = 2 * 2 * 2 * 5 Arrange the factorizations in a table primes 3 5 2 # 24 23 31 50 40 23 30 51 GCF 1 1 8 Circle the Smallest product in each column The GCF(24, 40) is the product of the circled numbers: 8 * 1 * 1 = 8

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Note: The exponent represents the number of times that factor appears in the prime factorization In the prime factorization of the numbers, we can find the prime factorization of the GCF: GCF(24, 40) = 8 = 2*2*2 24 = 2*2*2*3 = (2*2*2)*3 40 = 2*2*2*5 = (2*2*2)*5 8 is a factor of both 24 and 40!

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**Ex: Find the GCF(32, 51) Prime Factorization:**

16 3 17 2 8 2 4 51 = 3 * 17 2 2 32 = 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2

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Ex: Find the GCF(32, 51) M: Find the prime factorization of each number: 32 = 2*2*2*2*2 and = 3*17 C: Find the common factors: 1 G: Multiply all the common factors together: 1 The GCM(32, 51) = 1

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**Ex: Find the GCF(102, 84) Prime Factorization:**

51 2 42 3 17 2 21 3 7 32 = 2 * 3 * 17 51 = 2 * 2 *3 * 7

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Ex: Find the GCF(102, 84) M: Find the prime factorization of each number: 102 = 2 * 3 * and = 2 * 2 * 3 * 7 C: Find the common factors: 2 * 3 G: Multiply all the common factors together: 6 The GCM(102, 84) = 6

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**Ex: Find the GCF(14, 42, 84) Prime Factorizations**

7 2 21 2 42 2 21 3 7 14 = 2*7 3 7 42 = 2 * 3 * 7 84 = 2 * 2 * 3 * 7

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Ex: Find the GCF(14, 42, 84) M: Find the prime factorization of each number: 14 = 2*7 42 = 2*3*7 and = 2*2*3*7 C: Find the common factors: 2 * 7 G: Multiply all the common factors together: 14 The GCM(14, 42, 84) = 14

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Try a few problems on the handout

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